How Shakespeare uses Hooks on Audience and Characters in Romeo and Juliet
In “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” William Shakespeare hooks both the audience, through foreshadowing to tell them the story and through dramatic irony to keep them hooked, as well as the characters by pitting them against fate which controls the events of the play.
Now first foreshadowing becomes prevalent as Shakespeare tells the audience what’s to happen before it happens through foreshadowing as seen in Act I, Scene 2 when Benvolio tells the dismayed Romeo to find a new love instead of moping about Rosaline, using the words on lines 50-51 “Take thou some new infection to thy eye,/And the rank poison of the old will die.” The first line foreshadows his love with Juliet; it will be not only love, but a new infection, something painful and terrible to him, even if it is love. The second line foreshadows the final moments of the play, the rank poison being the death of Romeo, while the old dying, his mother who dies from grief over Romeo. Now second Dramatic Irony keeps Shakespeare’s audience watching even though they know what is going to happen, as obviously seen in Act III, Scene 3 after Romeo has killed Tybalt and is hiding in Friar Laurence’s cell, Friar Laurence says on lines 1-3 “Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man./Affliction is enamored of thy parts,/And thou art wedded to calamity.” First this is ironic because he says that Romeo is a fearful man, and that’s a bad thing but the audience knows he is going to die, from the chorus, so he should be fearful. Second the Friar says he is wedded to calamity, meaning by it that Romeo is always in trouble, but to the audience it’s also telling them that the wedding is calamity as the audience knows the lovers will take their life. Now how does fate tie in?
Now Shakespeare also plays the characters through using fate against them as seen in Act III, Scene 1 after Mercutio dies and Romeo says on lines 121-122 “This day’s...